Rules of Conduct Policy
It is the mission of GoTriangle to provide safe, reliable, convenient and efficient public transportation to the residents and visitors of the Triangle area. GoTriangle has established this Conduct Policy to promote the safety and comfort of its riders, protect its employees, facilitate the proper use of transit facilities and services, protect transit facilities and protect its vehicles.
GoTriangle has established the Rules of Conduct and Exclusion Policy to outline conduct deemed inappropriate inside and outside areas of GoTriangle property, bus shelters, bus stops, transfer points and on buses. This policy also details the procedures for passenger exclusions and appeals.
Facilities means all GoTriangle property and equipment, including, without limitation, inside and outside areas of property, bus shelters, bus stops, transfer points, signage and buses used to provide public transportation service. No individual may engage in inappropriate conduct on, at or in public transportation facilities.
Inappropriate Conduct is any conduct that is disruptive or injurious to other individuals' lawfully using GoTriangle facilities or services; damaging or destructive to transit facilities or services, or disruptive, harassing or threatening to transit employees. Inappropriate conduct may also constitute a violation of an ordinance or criminal law. Not being charged or convicted by law enforcement of an incident of inappropriate conduct does not bar investigation and/or exclusion under this policy.
Excluded means an individual may not enter or remain on GoTriangle property and equipment used to provide public transportation services.
Assault is an act or attempt, with force and violence, to do immediate physical injury to another person.
A GoTriangle operator may refuse entry onto a vehicle to any individual who violates these Rules of Conduct.
An operator or a supervisor may provide oral or written warning and may order an individual to leave or exclude individuals from a vehicle or facility.
- If an operator or supervisor becomes aware that any individual is engaging in any inappropriate conduct, such operator or supervisor may give that individual an oral first warning to immediately cease engaging in the conduct and/or not to engage in the conduct again. If the individual does not cease engaging in the conduct or engages in Level II conduct, then the operator or supervisor may direct the individual to immediately leave the vehicle or facility.
- If an individual fails or refuses to leave a vehicle or other facility after being directed to do so by an operator or supervisor, such individual is subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing and/or disorderly conduct. Additionally, failing to leave a vehicle or facility after being directed to do so may also subject an individual to the exclusion procedure.
IV. Levels of inappropriate conduct
Inappropriate conduct will be categorized in Levels I, II and Ill. Level I offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 30 days or more than three months. Level II offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 90 days or more than six months. Level lII offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 180 days or permanently based on severity. Further legal action may be taken as applicable and appropriate for Level Ill offenses. The levels of inappropriate conduct are as follows:
A. Level I offenses
- Refusing to vacate designated wheelchair areas and/or seating for senior citizens and people with disabilities on the bus.
- Eating or drinking on the bus. (Note: Food items in closed containers are permitted.)
- Using an audio device (e.g., portable radio, tape, CD player, TV, etc.), unless such equipment is used with earphones so that the sound is limited to that person's own listening.
- Standing in front of the yellow standee line at the front of the bus near the driver's seat or leaning on the rear doors.
- Bringing any animal on buses uncaged or caged, except service animals that assist those with disabilities.
- Bringing on board any large articles, packages, baggage, noncollapsible strollers or baby buggies that block the aisle and restrict the free movement of passengers.
- Engaging in indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, demeaning and disrespectful behavior toward GoTriangle employees, contractors and/or passengers.
- Engaging in unauthorized canvassing, selling, soliciting or distributing any material on board buses or at the transfer facility.
- Boarding unattended minors: children 5 years of age and under must be closely accompanied at all times by an older responsible individual.
- Roller-skating, roller-blading or skateboarding on buses or at the transfer facility.
- Hanging or swinging from stanchions or other bus equipment with feet off the floor.
- Hanging out, reaching out or putting anything out of bus windows.
- Willfully refusing to pay a fare or to show appropriate identification or fare media to the bus operator.
- Misusing fare media, including counterfeit or stolen fare media.
- Obstructing or interfering with the bus operator's safe operation of the bus.
- Participating in otherwise disorderly or inappropriate conduct that is inconsistent with the orderly and comfortable use of buses for their intended purpose. This includes putting your feet on the seat or leaving trash behind; not wearing a shirt and shoes; and exposing other passengers to bodily fluids of any kind or odors that may present serious health or safety risks.
B. Level II offenses
- Smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar or cigarette on the bus or inside the transfer facility (this includes electronic cigars or cigarettes).
- Threatening GoTriangle passengers or employees, including following or stalking passengers or employees.
- Obstructing or interfering with bus operator’s safe operation of the vehicle.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages or possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages.
C. Level Ill offenses
- Bringing any items of a dangerous nature on board buses including weapons (pistols, rifles, knives or swords); flammable liquids; dangerous, toxic or poisonous substances; vessels containing caustic materials, chemicals, acids or alkalis; sheet glass and sharp objects.
- Stealing or willfully damaging, defacing or destroying GoTriangle property. GoTriangle will press charges against anyone who steals or willfully damages, defaces or destroys GoTriangle property.
- Lighting an incendiary device on the bus (e.g., match, lighter, torch).
- Engaging in indecent exposure or any form of onanism.
- Filing fraudulent claims about an injury sustained on a GoTriangle vehicle or at the transfer station.
- Entering or remaining on GoTriangle buses after having been notified by an authorized individual not to do so, or boarding or remaining on GoTriangle buses during the period when an individual has been banned from the premises.
- Spitting or expectorating on or at bus operators, employees, or passengers.
- Assaulting or threatening to assault a bus operator, employee or passenger.
- Possessing, transporting or distributing illegal or controlled substances.
- Failing to comply with conditional ridership privileges agreed with GoTriangle.
V. Transit exclusion procedure
In the event that it is determined that an individual should be excluded from GoTriangle facilities and/or services, the process is as follows:
a. Authorized GoTriangle personnel will issue a written exclusion letter indicating the reasons for the exclusion, the duration of the exclusion and the facilities and/or services to which the exclusion order applies. If continued use of transit facilities and/or services is made subject to safety conditions or restrictions (e.g., presence of a parent or guardian in the case of a juvenile; accompaniment by a personal care attendant or aide), a conditional exclusion letter may be issued specifying that the individual will be subject to exclusion unless the imposed restrictions are followed.
b. The letter shall also advise the individual of his/her right to appeal the decision and include a copy of the appeal procedure.
c. If an appeal is not filed by the excluded party within 10 days from the commencement of the exclusion to the GoTriangle Safety and Security Manager, then the right to appeal is considered waived.
VI. Appeal procedure
a. If the excluded person/s appeals the exclusion, he/she must submit an appeal in writing to the safety and security manager to rescind or alter the terms of the exclusion. Appeals can be mailed to P.O Box 13787 RTP, North Carolina 27709. The appeal shall contain a) a copy of the exclusion letter and b) a statement of the reason why the exclusion is improper or should be altered.
b. The Safety and Security Manager shall review the written appeal and may reconsider or modify the decision to exclude an individual, following investigation of the matter, and shall specify in writing within fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the appeal the reasons for rescission or modification, if applicable, to the appellant.
c. Should the excluded person wish to appeal the decision of the safety and security manager, he/she may forward the written appeal to the director of Transit Operations.
d. For those requesting a hearing in person before the director of Transit Operations, the safety and security manager or designee will schedule a hearing within 10 days following receipt of the appeal to the director of Transit Operations.
e. The hearing shall be conducted as follows: a) presentation of documents and testimony supporting the exclusion, and b) presentation of documents and testimony opposing the exclusion. The director of Transit Operations or designee may question those providing testimony and may record the proceedings.
f. The decision of the director of Transit Operations will be in writing and shall be final.
GoTriangle will mail a copy of the entire appeal policy to persons issued exclusion letters who provide a mailing address. A copy of this policy is also available for review at GoTriangle's transfer center at 901 Slater Road, Durham, North Carolina 27703.